"Excon 2007 would be the first major event in India after the acquisition of Ingersoll Rand and would demonstrate the capability of Volvo CE as a solution provider and not as an equipment manufacturer alone. Excon will see the launch of a few road machinery and construction equipment which reinforces our commitment to our customers that we would bring the latest technology to the country which ensures the lowest cost per ton," says Mr. Mritunjaya Singh, Vice President, Volvo in an interview with S.A.Faridi.
Indian construction equipment industry is undergoing a rapid transformation— moving from a low volume, intensive use of equipment structure to high volume, and specific use one. How Volvo CE is positioning itself in this mode to turn out improved versions benchmarked to energy efficient, ecofriendly equipment as per emerging national and international standards?
Volvo CE will continue to bring products in the country that would ensure the lowest cost per ton and ones that would meet the environmental concerns challenging the manufacturers globally. India is among the fastest growing construction equipment market and Volvo is very well positioned to meet the requirement of the Indian market and customers — both in terms of equipment supply and after market support.
What major segments of construction equipment are set to grow in the wake of current infrastructure boom?
The economy boom will have to be necessarily supported by the availability of Roads, Power generation (Thermal and Hydel) and Urban Infrastructure to facilitate the quicker movement of goods, migrating population from the towns to the cities. These three segments will see a major growth. Consequently, we will see a fillip in mining (coal and lignite, limestone, iron ore).
In view of the strong growth in the Indian construction market, Volvo has planned to set up a production unit in India. When this unit will start production and what products you will manufacture here?
Volvo CE will be a major player in the construction equipment industry and would work towards being a solution provider instead of just being an equipment manufacturer. We plan a major investment here and this would see a global manufacturing facility in India. We plan to roll out the units by 2010.
Indian construction equipment industry has reached a stage where all options lead towards its fast track development. What policy provisions are needed at the Government’s end in terms of rationalizing the current tax and import regime along with much needed measures to restrict the entry of outdated machinery import in the country so as to put the industry on faster track?
Volvo CE has been a front runner globally in manufacturing products that meets its social commitment driven by safety and care for environment and also customer profitability driven by lowest cost per ton and quality. India would need to quickly get in norms to ensure latest technology comes in to the country which would help to do the job quicker with a better quality and needless to mention meets the environmental concerns. In a country which has norms for Tractors when it comes to emissions, we do not have one for the construction equipment both the tyres and crawler versions. The introduction of these norms will definitely restrict the outdated machinery import. The used machinery import as long as it meets the norms should not be restricted.
After acquiring Ingersoll Rand’s road development equipment division, Volvo CE has set its eyes on Shandong Lingong Construction Machinery Co of China. What does it mean in terms of enlarging the business platform and product portfolio of Volvo and its total product range?
As a solution provider, it would mean that a manufacturer meets the job requirement and the customer requirement better. The acquisition of Ingersoll Rand is a first big step to being a One Stop Shop for the customer – meaning all his requirements of equipment and after market support is met and that he would be able to focus on his core business while equipment manufacturer will focus on theirs. Shandong Lingong Loaders will help expanding range of Volvo and help meet the requirement of cross section of customers who are both price sensitive and quality conscious.
Volvo has in place a sound network of countrywide dealership, after sales and customer support system. How is it being strengthened further in country’s vast market? What are Volvo’s financing facilities for equipment acquisition?
Volvo places great importance on the after market support and since the time we entered the Indian market, we have been constantly expanding and upgrading our network of dealerships. Apart from continuing to expand and upgrade the infrastructure, Human Resource would be the focus area for Volvo CE and this would call for extensive training of Volvo CE and Dealership personnel. Investments on the demo center would also help train the customer personnel which would improve the product performance out in the market place. India has a robust banking and credit appraisal of the customers being done by the lending institutions and therefore the need for Volvo financial services is not felt in India and at the moment there would be no value addition. However, Volvo does tie up with leading financial institutions that would help provide lower cost of funds to the customer.
Volvo CE has been very effectively utilizing forum like Bauma and Excon to demonstrate its technical prowess. What are plans for participation in the forthcoming Excon-2007 exhibition at Bangalore, its focus of participation and new launches— in view?
Excon 2007 would be the first major event in India after the acquisition of Ingersoll Rand and would demonstrate the capability of Volvo CE as a solution provider and not as an equipment manufacturer alone. Excon will see the launch of a few road machinery and construction equipment which reinforces our commitment to our customers that we would bring the latest technology to the country which ensures the lowest cost per ton.